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USM Muskie School Report: Youth Arrests in Maine Down by 26 Percent During Past Decade

PORTLAND- While the adult arrest rate in Maine has increased slightly, the rate of youth arrest in Maine has fallen by 26 percent in the past decade, according to a new report from the Maine Statistical Analysis Center of the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service.

This and other key findings from the 2012 Maine Juvenile Justice Data Book were presented to Governor Paul LePage and the Maine Juvenile Justice Advisory Group at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro on October 24. Funded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the data book is the first of its kind in Maine, providing justice data trends to present a portrait of youth involvement in Maine’s juvenile justice system. Muskie School researchers designed the data book to serve as an aid to legislative, policy, and program initiatives aimed at rehabilitating youth.

Key findings include:

Dramatic decreases in overall youth arrest rate. From 2001 to 2010, the overall arrest rate of youth in Maine decreased by 26 percent, from 67 arrests per 1,000 youth in 2001 to 50 arrests per 1,000 youth in 2010.

Decrease in youth arrests for violent offenses. From 2001 to 2010, arrests of youth for violent offenses, such as murder, rape, and aggravated assault, decreased by 28 percent. Violent offenses only comprised 1.7 percent of all offenses for which youth were arrested in 2010.

Fewer drug offenses. Arrests of Maine youth for drug offenses decreased by 33 percent in the past decade.

Fewer youth in detention. An examination of Maine detention data finds that the average daily population of youth in detention declined by 37.3 percent between 2006 and 2011.

Majority of youth do not recidivate. Youth who entered the state Department of Corrections supervision system in 2008 and youth who exited supervision in 2008 recidivated at 21.8 and 20.6 percent respectively.

Also included in the data book is an extensive examination of Maine county juvenile justice trends and a county-level analysis of disproportionate minority contact with the juvenile justice system between 2005 and 2010.

The report and online data tables can be found at:

2012 Maine Juvenile Justice Data Book

The Maine Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) operates as a collaborative service of the USM Muskie School of Public Service and the Maine Department of Corrections. The SAC is supported by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and guided by an advisory group of policy makers from the Maine Administrative Office of the Courts, Maine Department of Public Safety, Maine Department of Corrections, and Maine Juvenile Justice Advisory Group.